Ladies I Love: M is for Marjane Satrapi, Graphic Novelist and Film Producer from Iran

I can’t believe I’m already writing my “M” post for the A to Z Challenge!  I’ve got another cartoonist (I think this is the last one) for today’s Lady I Love: Marjane Satrapi.  I chose Marjane Satrapi for today for two very interesting reasons:  first, she grew up in Iran under the Muslim fundamentalists who took power after the Iranian Revolution; and second, she’s an outspoken woman who lived to tell about it.

Marjane Satrapi header

Marjane Satrapi was born in Iran in 1969 and lived in a middle-class family with highly educated parents in Tehran until 1983.  During her childhood, she was rambunctious, strong-willed and outspoken, and her family feared that her behavior (and mouth) would get her into serious trouble with the authorities, who had strict behavioral codes for women.  So, her family arranged to have her study in Vienna for high school.  She returned to Tehran after a near-deadly bout of pneumonia and stayed there for several years, but now lives in Paris with her husband.

Satrapi’s childhood and teenage years are detailed in her autobiographical graphic novels, Persepolis 1 and 2.  I loved them because she grew up in an entirely different world than I did (geographically, at least, which was fascinating in and of itself), but for all those differences, I could see ways in which she was no different from many of us growing up: questions, conceptions of right and wrong, repression (in her case the government, in my case, parents), and general teenage angst.  Half a world away, and it was like I knew her!

Marjane Satrapi - Michael Jackson

In 2007, Persepolis was made into a feature film and debuted at the Cannes Film Festival.  In 2008, it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, making Marjane Satrapi the first woman nominated for the category.  In 2011, her graphic novel “Chicken with Plums” was made into a live action movie as well.  There are several interviews with Marjane Satrapi about her work, but I found this one and this one to be very interesting – if you have the time, check them out.  And, below I’ve included the trailers for both Persepolis and Chicken with Plums.  Perhaps you will put them on your “to watch” list!

11 thoughts on “Ladies I Love: M is for Marjane Satrapi, Graphic Novelist and Film Producer from Iran

  1. Yes, M already! I am anticipating a mix of relief, accomplishment and extreme letdown when this mad dance we call A to Z is over! Saving grace – we’ll all be sharing withdrawal symptoms and saying things like “buck up” to each other 🙂

    This was an enjoyable post for me. Iranian women – i can’t even explain the intrigue, confusion, strength, beauty and repugnance they hold for me. I hope I live long enough to see the Iran’s societal repressions lifted and their stories told. Until then we have gems like Marjane to give us snippets of what it’s like behind the veil. The women in her M Jackson scene have such angry faces – so very expressive. You and I, no doubt felt those looks from our parents, no?

    I read both interviews – she is a very down-to-earth person. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have dinner with her?!?

    Thanks for introducing me to a remarkable woman. I’ve put Persepolis on my “wish list”.

    • I completely agree – Marjane Satrapi is a gem and I’m grateful that there are women like her in the world to speak for those who cannot. It’s easy for us, in this privileged country of ours, to forget that there’s a lot of people out there who don’t have a fraction of the freedom we do. Anyway, both of her Persepolis books are really interesting, and the movie was a good adaptation of her graphic novels. I still haven’t read or seen Chicken with Plums, but I have them on my to read / to watch lists! 🙂

    • I know, right??? There are too many great and interesting things that I’ve found during the A to Z Challenge…and it’s only halfway through the month! I’m going to need at least a month to follow up on all the cool stuff I’ve bookmarked 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

    • Thanks very much, Silvia! Marjane Satrapi is one of my favorite artists, and I’m glad I could introduce her to a few more folks out there! Thanks for stopping by 😀

    • Awesome! I’m glad you stopped by and are enjoying my A to Z theme 🙂 And I just checked out your artwork – beautiful! I’m looking forward to seeing more of you through April (and beyond) 😀

    • Yes! So many people have not heard of Persepolis (books or movie). Her other graphic novels are great, too – I love the stark black and white drawings combined with complex stories that bring in all shades of gray. Thanks for stopping by, Kari! 😀

  2. Pingback: Readers: Reading and Beyond | bemuzin

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